Thursday, April 29, 2010

Happiest and Saddest Days


One of the happiest days of my life was July 19, 1963, the day my first child was born. She and I both had a rough time during that breech birth, but it didn’t dampen my spirits at all, because I had waited a full 10 months for that day. Her dark blue color, when I first saw her scared me because I knew I had nearly lost her. She weighed 9 lbs 8oz and had the most beautiful long dark hair. I remember the day I brought her home from the hospital, one of the nurses helped me put her hair in a large curl on top, with a bow. Dressing her for the first time made me feel like a little girl with a new baby doll. She was so cute and such a good baby.

Now I’m left with a hole in my heart, that I can only try to fill with memories.


Rebecca Lynn Taylor
July 19, 1963 ~ February 19, 2010




When Becky, was first diagnosed with Stage Four Breast Cancer, I told her that the most important thing, was to focus only on a positive outlook. I knew she was strong and would fight it every step of the way, for as long as she needed to. She also believed that God would help her through it, because she had a feeling he had put this burden on her in order to help others in some way. I cried and told her that I wish it had been me instead of her, because she still had so much more life to live and children who depended on her. She laughingly told me that God gave it to her because she could handle it better than her two sisters or I. She was certainly right about me, I could never have dealt with the emotional strain or pain with such courage. Her will to live gave her an unstoppable determination to try anything her doctors advised.

She was truly afraid when she found out the cancer had metastasized in a rib and leg bone. But once again, her courage conquered that fear, just as it did when it next metastasized in her brain. Each time the cancer moved to another part of her body, she would say she made it through the last round and she would make it through this one.

After nearly eight years her body just didn’t have the strength to endure anymore. She still would not give up and her spirit carried her through for a while longer. She fought all the way to her last breath.

I have so many wonderful memories of my daughter, but the most remarkable ones during her time with cancer, were the ways she helped several others deal with fear of their own cancer, her sense of humor and the way she made it all so much easier for our family, by being so strong. Somehow she got us through it, when we all thought it should have been the other way around. She was a great inspiration to all of her friends and family.

I know when my time comes, I will see her standing there with a smile on her face, saying, “Come on Mom, I know if I made it through this, you can too.”


I am blessed with many wonderful friends and family members who have given memorials in Becky's honor. When we arrived back home, after the memorial service, friends gave us a beautiful pink Weeping Hibiscus tree. With it was a card with this written inside: Due to Becky's unflinching devotion to life, nothing but a living memorial would do.

The last couple of days, I've been making a bed of flowers that will grow around the tree and this will serve as Becky's Memorial Garden. Whenever I'm feeling down or need some propping up, I plan to look at this and remember her strength.


Click to play this Smilebox scrapbook:

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27 comments:

Marjorie said...

I'm so sorry for your loss! You are stronger than you give yourself credit for. I don't know if my mom would survive outliving me, but you're doing it. You honor her life by continuing to live your own.

Deb said...

I am so sorry for your loss. I am sure she was an inspiration to everyone she met. She will live on in all your memories and in your heart. May you find comfort in those memories. I received a card when my mom passed away and what it said was; "Seashells remind us that every passing life leaves something beautiful behind." I am sure she left many things beautiful behind and that she will always be missed.

bobbie said...

Your post is a lovely tribute to Becky. I'm sure she is smiling as she watches you create her living memorial garden.
Hang on to your happy memories.

ChrisC said...

Bless your heart...OK-now you've made me cry.
We love youse guys,and we shared your pain.
We love you!!!!

ChrisC said...

and Becky is saying,"Ha!You made Chris cry!Good for you Mom."

ღ Alice ღ ™ said...

I'm so sorry for your loss, I didn't know she passed. She seems like a very strong woman from the was you talk about her. I wish there was something I could do or say to help, I truly do. One thing is for sure, she is looking down at you and very proud at you and thankful for a great Mother.. You :) it's not the same but when I lost my Momma a few yrs back I thought it was the end of the world and if I didn't have my kids... Well I just don't know. Thank you for sharing this private situation with us. Much Love to you and your family.
Alice

gpc said...

Beautiful, Tootie.

june said...

Tootie, I am so sorry. I had no idea your family was going through this. She sounds like an amazing woman.

June

Jeanne said...

Tootie that was beautiful and the garden is very special. It is a perfect tribute to Becky :)

I just wanted to share with Tooties blog members if she doesn't mind that I was able to make it to Becky's memorial service and approx 1000 people came through that church! Becky's doctor came and spoke and said there will NEVER be another patient like Becky. Becky made everyone laugh and feel better while they all got their treaments and even brought her little dog pictured to share. Young adults with special needs she helped came and one spoke....she brought me to tears. Her husband is a special guy who cared for her until the very end never wavering all those years. She also has 2 special children and 1 baby grandson. Her service is something I don't believe I will ever forget. What an impact someone can have even in the worst of situations. Life is what we make of it through good and bad...she got out there with her matching scarves, jewelry, and beautiful face and kept up a brave happy face for all those she met. joking and laughing her way through a VERY hard road. God Bless her and you Tootie. I hope time heals that hole in your heart and we can all take peace knowing that through God's grace we will see our loved ones again. I wonder if she'll still be wearing her favorite color Pink :)

Tootie said...

Thanks to all of you for your kind remarks.

Deb, I liked what your card said about the seashells. :)

Chris, you are so right. That's exactly what she would say.

Jeanne, thank you and it meant more than I can say, to have you there. I know it was a very long drive.

It is amazing how we find such wonderful friends online. I know I really appreciate all of you. :)

Pam said...

Tootie, I had no idea you were going through such a painful time in your life and it breaks my heart to know you've suffered like that. I can't imagine what it's like to lose a child. I think your memorial garden is a beautiful idea to honor your beautiful daughter.

RottenMom said...

I can't stop the tears as I read this. I am so very sorry for your loss. When you traveled in Feb and mentioned it on your blog, I thought it may have been for your beautiful daughter. I want you to know that we prayed for her and for your family and will continue to keep you in our prayers. The garden is wonderful, the Smilebox made me smile. Thank you for sharing with us this beautiful tribute to your daughter. Sending you my love. XO

Country Wings in Phoenix said...

Hi Tootie Sweetie...
I love this wonderful post you have shared with us about your precious daughter, Becky. Sweetie she gave you so many precious memories, that she will always be alive in your heart.

I love her tree that was planted in her honor (what wonderful neighbors)and the gardens that you are adding are so very pretty. I know Becky smiles down and is so proud of how strong you are and of how happy you have made her to share her story with so many, many others. It gives others courage to fight just like she did.

My Niece passed away in October. She was 33 years young. She had squamous cell cancer. She went to have her wisdom teeth pulled and they found a cancer spot on her tongue. She fought all the way to the end, but we only had her 18 short months after they found the cancer. It was a horrible thing for all of us. She went through so many treatments and surgery, but not once did she lose sight of God. She believed up to the end God was truly going to perform a miracle. It was not meant to be. Her story shared with others though has helped others with choices along the path.

Thank you for allowing me to know your precious Becky through your stories. She was gorgeous sweetie. Just gorgeous. Katy Bug sure made her happy.

Have a beautiful day sweetie. I am following you on this blog, so I can stay in touch. I hope you will too. Happy May Day. Country hugs and much love, Sherry

Snowbird said...

Tootie, I am so happy that I got to meet Becky when she was here last year. That crawl was so special because she really wanted to do it. Even though she wasn't feeling the greatest, her smile and her humor were always right there. I still have my bracelet that she gave me. I keep it out and whenever I look at it, it reminds me of her strength, her courage and her beautiful smile. I'm so glad that you posted this and all the pictures of her.

Marydon Ford said...

G'day Tootie ~ Your daughter was born on the same day as my eldest son.

What a beautiful memorial garden & tree for Becky ... a respite for you to find comfort in.

How courageous she was to fight the battle with such beauty & grace ... bringing so much to those who knew her.

Becky now sits with Jesus, how wonderful for her. Prayers for you lifted at this time.

TTFN ~ Marydon

Vicki ~ FL said...

I am so sorry to hear about your precius daughter. What a special tribute to Becky. The flower garden and hibiscus tree will live on in her memory for all to enjoy.

iLoveShelling said...

I am so sorry for you and your family for your loss. What a beautiful tree and garden to keep her memories alive and to share. Your video scrapbook is a wonderful tribute to your daughter.

Beth said...

Sending you love, hugs and prayers, my friend.

Shellbelle said...

Tootie, this wonderful tribute to your daughter will serve as a reminder to each of us to make each day count and to make memories with those we love.

The strength she had and her ability to look beyond herself and help others is a reflection on her upbringing, of which I'm sure she then passed on to her own children.

Each flower that blooms in Rebecca's garden will be smiling up at her and sending her mother's love and devotion.

George said...

This is a beautiful tribute to your daughter. I'm sorry about your loss. I do agree that a living memorial is most appropriate for Becky, and I'm sure she expects the garden around the tree to be as lovely as she was.

Kim Frydrych said...

Tootie So sorry, Cancer is a terrible thing, to have happen in anyones life. I lost my Grandmother to Stage 4 Breast Cancer when she was 69. Sanibel Island is where I went to mourn her death. The Island healed my heart. No one can replace the person, but the memories are pricelss. You family is in my prayers. You a unbelievably strong person, thank you for sharing that beautiful tribute. By making that beautiful tribute you are keeping her sprirt alive, and encouraging others that their is life after a loss from this horrible disease.

Suwanee Refugee said...

My daytime job is a counselor. I've been doing this work in some form for about 10 years. Of all the things that I hear, losing a child has to be the most unfair. Its something that God and I are going to have a conversation about when I get to heaven.

I'm so sorry for your loss. May God supply you with a abundance of grace and comfort.

Gayle said...

Thank you for sharing the most intimate part of your life. God blessed Becky with courage and a strong family. You all have touched many with your story.

busybee2 said...

I am so sorry to hear of your loss. Your tribute to your daughter was so touching and heartfelt that it made me cry. I hope it gives you some comfort to know that there are many people out here who are praying for you during this difficult time.

JoJo said...

Becky touched my heart from the first moment I 'met' her here. What a brave, strong, wonderful woman determined to kick cancer's ass. I'm filled with awe at her fight and emotion with her passing. She will never be forgotten and thank you for sharing her with us. God bless.

Deborah said...

Sending you all my love on the wings of a desert sparrow. She lives forever in eternity, she soars, she touches lives, she touched mine today. **blows kisses** Deb

Brianne said...

I just want to send another note to let you know your memorial to Becky has touched another person. I know what is written of her can only be a little bit of how full, and touching her story is. Your garden around the hibiscus is beautiful. Brianne